Mr Meddings will begin the 4-year role in March 2022, and will focus on the health service’s recovery from the pandemic and workforce expansion

On 22 January 2022, the Government announced that Richard Meddings CBE will be the new Chair of NHS England. Mr Meddings will start the 4-year role in March 2022, replacing the current Chair, Lord Prior, who has been in place since October 2018.

Mr Meddings, whose background is in chartered accountancy, has previously served on the board at HM Treasury and as Chair of TSB Bank, and is a nonexecutive director at Credit Suisse. As Chair of NHS England, he intends to focus on the recovery of the health service from the COVID-19 pandemic and workforce expansion. He is expected to push through reforms to tackle the 5.7 million backlog of patients, and provide value for money.

Although Mr Meddings was confirmed to be the Government’s preferred candidate in December 2021, some have criticised his lack of experience of the health service. In contrast, his predecessor had been a health minister and chaired two NHS hospital trusts before taking on the role.

He will be paid £63,000 a year and expected to work 2–3 days a week, although the Government has said that Mr Meddings intends to donate his salary to charity.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, commented: ‘Richard brings to the role a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors, including years of management in the financial services industry.

‘I look forward to working with him as we support the NHS to recover from COVID-19, tackle the backlog, and back our incredible healthcare staff.’

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